Oct 4, 2012 4:00am EDT
presidential debate started with a hand shake and a smile between president obama and his republican challenger, mitt romney. then, it quickly focused on the economy. >> 5 million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry's come roaring back. and housing has begun to rise. >> i know what it takes to get small business growing again, to hire people. >> reporter: romney was aggressive most of the night. but his comments about the 47% had taken a toll on his campaign. the president never brought up those comments. and romney tried to move past them. >> under the president's policies, middle-income americans have been buried. they're just being crushed. i will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. >> reporter: the president challenged his rival, saying that romney cannot keep his goal of cutting taxes and not add to the deficit without hurting the middle-class. >> now, five weeks before the election, he's saying his big, bold idea is never mind. >> reporter: other topics included medicare reform and the president's health care reform law. while there wasn'
Oct 2, 2012 4:00am PDT
president obama in polls. and his campaign knows the upcoming debates could be their best chance to turn things around. that's why the candidate has spent many hours practicing. he'll huddle again with advise herbs practicing today. in the mock debates, senator rob portman is playing barack obama. >> he's playing president obama in the mock debates we have. i don't like him very much anymore. >> reporter: as for president obama, he took a break from practice yesterday to visit a campaign office and make a few calls to unsuspecting voters. >> andrea? hi. this is barack obama. how are you? that's right. >> reporter: it was just a brief break for the president, who, like romney, has been rehearsing for days. senator john kerry is playing the role of romney in president obama's practice sessions. the campaign is managing expectations, saying last night, the president is out of practice. the last time he debated was four years ago. and, rob and paula, according to the latest abc news/"washington post" poll, 56% of americans expect president obama to win the debates. mitt romney told voters ye